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How to Toddler Proof Your Home

Is your inquisitive toddler getting into all sorts of precarious spaces? Babyproofing your home is vital to ensure the safety of your adventurous toddler.

How to Toddler Proof Your Home

Congratulations, you've managed to nurture, feed, and tend to your infant's every need. As toddlerhood approaches, you may realize that keeping an immobile baby alive is more manageable than contending with a fast-crawling, danger-ignorant toddler. As your toddler becomes mobile, they encounter dangers through their exploration. However, you can avoid many accidents with some baby proofing methods.

Here are our top tips for ensuring your home is a safe space for your curious toddler to explore. 

Remove choking hazards

Toddlers love putting objects in their mouths. When your baby crawls and investigates the home, remove things that could be a choking hazard. Here are some items to look out for and place higher up where those chubby fingers cannot reach them:

  • small fridge magnets
  • coins
  • small toys
  • pens and their caps
  • tools
  • earings
  • stationary
  • small ornaments
  • batteries (check the remote and tape it so that it's secure)
  • festive decorations

Do a simple toilet roll check if you're unsure what could pose a threat to your child. If an item can fit through a toilet roll, it could be a choking hazard for your toddler. 

Confine toxins and dangerous substances

Child proof door locks are a worthwhile purchase when baby proofing the home. Ensure that cleaning products, medications, recreational drugs, and alcohol are far from reach or behind a secure cupboard guarded by child proof cabinet locks.

You can place toxic indoor plants a little higher, including Oleanders, Peace Lily, and Mother-in-Law's Tongue.

Cover the electrical plugs

Plug covers are affordable and can be a simple way to baby proof every room. While focusing on the electrical appliances in your home, secure cables to the wall or bind them together with cable ties. Unplug heaters or appliances that your baby could easily switch on without your knowledge. Keep irons and hair straighteners packed away.

Secure the pool and garden

Being vigilant of bodies of water is vital. Drowning is the top cause of unintentional death for kids aged one to four.

  • Fence off your pool
  • Empty buckets of water
  • Always drain the bath or paddling pool - even one inch of water can pose a risk
  • Never take your eyes off your toddler when the pool is in use

When it comes to your garden, pay attention to the following:

  • Lock a shed that could have heavy and dangerous tools
  • If you have a pond, temporarily empty it or cover it with a metal grid
  • Remove toxic plants and shrubs
  • Designate a safe play area that grabs their attention
  • Hire a professional to remove bees and wasps ethically
  • Switch out garden chemicals and sprays for natural alternatives
  • Watch for tripping hazards like hose pipes or rocks

Baby proof fireplace and fire pits

Ensure fireplace safety with a secure protective screen and lock. Even when the fireplace is unused, deter your child from touching the grid so they can become aware that it's off bounds and "hot, hot, hot!"

If you're lucky enough to have a fire pit in your outdoor entertainment area, teach your child their physical limitations. It's also advised to use hardwoods that are less likely to spark. Be sure to extinguish fires and wet embers to prevent burns when you least expect them.

Anchor heavy drawers and cabinets

Protect your child by anchoring cupboards, TVs, and any furniture items that can easily topple over. Eventually, your daredevil dear will climb or pull out drawers to get on top. Many easy-to-install, affordable anti-tip kits can baby proof your cabinets and prevent heavy furniture items from toppling on your child.

Tip: While paying attention to furniture, cover sharp corners with baby corner guards

When you're cooking...

Keep your tiny adventurer out of the kitchen with a baby gate, or place them in a safe and secure spot to play or watch you. Get your toddler to snack on their veggies while you cook. (That's a mom hack right there!)

  • Keep pan handles facing inwards, turned away from where a child could reach
  • Push boiling water containers or mugs deep on the counter, rather than near the edge
  • Keep sharp knives and tools locked in the top drawers
  • Use child proof door locks on cupboards with glassware and breakables
  • Switch your oven off at the wall when it's not in use - those switches and dials tempt a two-year-old

Don't forget the steps, windows, and doors

Falls can be fatal for toddlers, so securing stairs and windows should be your first step in baby proofing your home once they become mobile.

  • Install stair gates
  • Use window guards on top floors
  • Raise window blind cables to prevent strangulation 
  • Block off any rooms (your home gym) or exits that could put your child at risk

An appropriate response to your child's curiosity

At times, it will feel like your toddler is seeking out danger when they're just being curious. Curiosity is how your child learns and develops. 

Jessica VanderWier, a Registered Psychotherapist who helps families understand and respond to their child's "big feelings" with gentleness, respect, and effectiveness, offers excellent advice regarding your tiny explorer.

  1. Allow your child to be curious; it's how they learn
  2. When your child touches something they shouldn't, don't give them a big reaction
  3. Use a calm and dull tone of "I can't let you touch this"
  4. Offer them a safe and creative alternative: "Yes! You can play with this toy"

Here at Save, we encourage curious and stimulating play for your baby. We have some great posts that will inspire affordable playtime for your little one, from 30 Easy DIY Sensory Bin Fillers for Babies to Why Your Kids Need a Comfort Corner to Help Them Relax. And we have some advice for your older kids too. Learn about a good Self Care Routine for Kids, How to Limit Screen Time, and The Benefits of Having a Regular Board Game Night for Your Family

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